We have lost a good friend, and what is more important, a great human being. I met Barry back in 1995/96 after I purchased my 1937 1/2 ton, which needed a complete restoration. I don't quite recall how I first learned of Barry and his expertise (it might have been through the Stovebolt site back in the early years), but because I only live about an hour's drive from Barry and Kathy, we soon became good "truck buddies." The 37 was my first truck restoration and Barry helped me out in countless ways, giving me advice, locating parts, offering all sorts of help. He offered me so many parts either for free or for a remarkably low price--I don't think I could have every gotten the truck on the road without him--in fact, the 235 engine in the truck now was purchased from Barry. After that restoration, we remained friends and grew closer, as we saw each other many times a year at local swap meets (especially Le Sueur, Back to the 50s, and Iola), and visited each other's shops. When I undertook the restoration of my 1938 coupe pickup, Barry again was instrumental in his assistance. Shortly thereafter, Barry had acquired a very nice 1938 3/4 ton panel and had it in storage--mostly in pieces. Every time I saw him, I'd say, "Barry, if you ever want to sell that panel truck, I'm first in line." Several years later, Barry lost his storage space and called me, asking if I was still interested in the 38 panel. Indeed, I was, and true to Barry's generous nature, he sold it to me at the price he had paid many years before, a ridiculously low price for what it was--but he insisted on taking no more for it, even though I begged him to do so. He was simply interested in seeing it restored to its original condition, a promise he had made to the man from whom he had purchased it. Again, during the restoration, Barry came to my aid continually, especially helping out in finding difficult to locate parts. Upon its completion and after taking Best in Class Commercial at the VCCA Central Meet and making the cover of G&D, Barry was just as happy and congratulatory as if he himself had garnered the awards.
We continued to see one another at swap meets and on other occasions, during which I was also privileged to become good friends with Kathy, Barry's kind and generous wife and constant companion. The last time I saw Barry was on August 4, just a few months ago. Barry and his good friend ****, along with some other friends, had lunch together every Wednesday at a local restaurant--they had been meeting there for lunch every Wednesday for several decades. I drove up to Lake Elmo and had a great time--and true to form, Barry and **** insisted on paying for my lunch. After lunch, we walked over to ****'s shop and traded lots of stories of past adventures. It was a wonderful time, and I vowed to return for lunch again soon, on a future Wednesday. Unfortunately, I didn't make it back before Barry's untimely passing.
My sincerest condolences go out to Kathy and all of Barry's buddies. He will be greatly missed by every person who was privileged to know him and call him a friend. His passing was way too premature and for that reason, all the more tragic. Every time I start up my 37 pickup or the 38 panel, I will remember my friend fondly and with much gratitude.
Requiescat in pace.